Sun Salutation comprises a sequence of 12 yoga postures, best done at sunrise. If done fast, it provides a good cardiovascular workout. If done at a slower pace, these postures help tone the muscles and can relax the system and meditative.

Did you know that regular practice of Sun Salutation improves the functions of the heart, liver, intestine, stomach, chest, throat, and legs – basically, the whole body. The process purifies the blood and improves blood circulation throughout the system and ensures proper functioning of the stomach, bowel, and nerve centers.

Practicing Sun Salutation daily helps balance the three constitutions – Vata, Pitha and Kapha – that the body is made up of, according to Ayurvedic science. Sun Salutation is also known to enhance the physical strength of a person.

One of our personal trainers, Rhianwen, has kindly put together the Sun Salutation video below for you to practice every day. Feel revitalised, rejuvinated and revived with regular practice of the Sun Salutation.

What is yoga?

Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing. The main components of yoga are postures (a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility) and breathing. The practice originated in India about 5,000 years ago, and has been adapted in other countries in a variety of ways. Yoga is now commonplace in leisure centres, health clubs, schools, hospitals and surgeries.

What are the health benefits of yoga?

Dozens of scientific trials of varying quality have been published on yoga. While there’s scope for more rigorous studies on its health benefits, most studies suggest yoga is a safe and effective way to increase physical activity, especially strength, flexibility and balance. There’s some evidence that regular yoga practice is beneficial for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains – including lower back pain – depression and stress.

Does yoga contribute towards my 150 minutes of activity?

Most forms of yoga are not strenuous enough to count towards your 150 minutes of moderate activity, as set out by government guidelines. However, yoga does count as a strengthening exercise, and at least two sessions a week will help you meet the guidelines on muscle-strengthening activities. Activities such as yoga and tai chi are also recommended to older adults at risk of falls to help improve balance and co-ordination.

Can yoga help with arthritis?

Yoga is popular with people with arthritis for its gentle way of promoting flexibility and strength. Some research suggests yoga can reduce pain and mobility problems in people with knee osteoarthritis. However, some yoga moves aren’t suitable for people with the condition. Find a teacher who understands arthritis and can adapt movements for individual needs, especially if you have replacement joints. Check with a doctor or physiotherapist to find out if there are any movements to avoid.

Am I too old for yoga?

Definitely not. People often start yoga in their 70s, and many say they wish they had started sooner. There are yoga classes for every age group. Yoga is a form of exercise that can be enjoyed from childhood to your advanced years.

Do I have to be fit to do yoga?

No, you can join a class that’s suitable for your fitness level. For example, to join a mixed ability yoga class, you need to be able to get up and down from the floor. Some yoga classes are chair-based.

Don’t I need to be flexible to do yoga?

Not necessarily. Yoga will improve your flexibility and help you go beyond your normal range of movement, which may make performing your daily activities easier.

If you want to incorporate some yoga in to your personal training sessions then speak to our personal trainer Rhianwen next time you see her.